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Getting to know Kevin Kelly

The ice may soon be melting at the Penticton Curling Club, but the membership has been hot this season.

The ice may soon be melting at the Penticton Curling Club, but the membership has been hot this season.

Our Thursday night recreational league was full at two complete draws for a total of 24 teams. Like many clubs we offer “learn to curl clinics” at the start of the season, which in turn fill the recreational leagues with “new to the game” curlers. We also have “returning to the club” curlers that have taken a hiatus from the game and return to our competitive leagues.  With the great Okanagan climate there are a lot of folks migrating to Penticton from Saskatchewan and Northern B.C., who have joined our leagues in the category of   “new to Penticton” seasoned curlers.

Kevin Kelly profile

Behind the doors of every great curling club, there are curlers with a competitive drive, and a passion for the game.  There are also the “on ice” teachers and the curlers that create synergy on the ice. I would like to introduce Kevin Kelly from the Deli, as he fondly refers to himself as. Kevin fits into the “new to Penticton” seasoned curler category.

Kevin moved to Penticton in January 2011.  Like most passionate curlers, he made his way down to the rink to sign up as a spare.  Kevin now curls in three leagues (the men’s, competitive mixed and Thursday night recreational league), and can often be seen sparing for the Friday night league.

Kevin was born in Moose Jaw, Sask, and began his curling career at the age of 13 at the Nanaimo Curling Club. This left-handed curler was inspired by his parents, who were also curlers.  Kevin is no stranger to competitions: after winning the B.C. provincial junior championships, he and his team made their way to Halifax for the 1983 Junior Canadian Championships.

In 1986 he was on the youngest team to ever qualify for the men’s B.C. provincials.

Who is Kevin’s curling hero? Without a doubt Rick Folk.

He had dreams of going to the Brier one day, but is now content to live vicariously through some of the world class talent in the rinks today.

In the off-season, Kevin can be found biking and “fish’n in the dark.”

Why does Kevin curl?

He is passionate about curling, and wants to give back by helping others learn the game. He is also known for creating synergy among his teammates.

Kevin will get his chance to mingle with some of those world class curlers when Penticton hosts the 2013 Continental Cup Jan. 10 to 13.

The online volunteer registration forms for the 2013 Continental Cup will be available on March 1.

Around the House

As we get into the hack to throw the last few stones of the regular season we are also gearing up for a couple of busy weekends at the Penticton Curling Club.

This weekend the Penticton Curling Club will be hosting the 2012 Club Challenge.

There are nine men’s teams and four ladies teams competing for the Club Challenge this weekend.  There are three local teams competing, on the ladies side; the Sharon Verrier rink and on the men’s side the Blaine Black rink and the Glen Brennan rink from Summerland.   Games get underway Friday night at 9 p.m., with the first game on Saturday at 8 a.m., with the action continuing throughout the day with the last draw at 7:30 p.m. The winners will go on to compete in Richmond. Everyone is welcome to come down and watch the action.

The annual Western Mixed Open bonspiel will be held March 2-4.  Everyone is welcome.  We are looking for a few individuals to fill spots. To sign up, call 250-492-5647.

Kim Kirkham is the past president and spokesperson for the Penticton Curling Club.